CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s nothing like a walk in the great outdoors to clear your head, or to get your children away from the television and their smartphones. But, in the Texas heat, hiking can be very dangerous. There are some tips, however, that you can follow to stay safe.
The line into Cedar Hill State Park begins early, and lasts through most of each day. Hundreds of visitors pour into the park to enjoy a little wilderness inside of the urban core. You can escape the hustle and bustle of the city, but you can’t escape the heat.
“Being prepared is going to be the number one thing for being safe out in an environment like that,” stated Clayton Shields with Texas Parks & Wildlife. “Water, the number one thing you should have when you prepare to come out here, especially in these conditions and hike on these trails.”
Every person in your group needs to drink 16 ounces of water every hour while on the trail.
Next, be sure to wear loose-fitting, light-colored hiking clothes. And keep a cool head with a hat and wet towel. “The main thing you want to do is keep your head cooled down,” Shields added. “If you start feeling symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat illness, you want to, first thing is to cool your head down.”
Then, remember that sweat is not just water leaving your body. Shields explained, “There is salt leaving the body as well. It is important for the body to replenish its salt.” So, pack some salty snacks to keep your energy up and your body chemistry correct.
Another important thing to keep in mind, just like in real estate, is location, location, location. “You want to know where you are. You want to have other people know where you are,” Shields advised. “Have a buddy system. Have someone with you when you are out hiking on these trails.”
For added security, have your cell phone fully charged or bring a GPS locator, so that people can find you if needed.
Lastly, do not forget to bring sunblock. “Sunscreen is important because, if you get burned, that is and injury,” said Shields.